( A powerful kshetra of Lord Shiva, Goddess Amba & Lord Dattatreya)
“Kaasyanatu Maranaanmuktihi Smarana Darunachale
Darsana Deva Sri Saile Punarjanma Na Vidyate”
By facing death in Kasi, reciting Bhagavannama in Arunachalam
and just visiting Sri Saila Ksetra, men are attaining salvation or Mukti.
Srisailam is a holy Saivite temple situated in the top of Nallamalai hills in the Kurnool district of Andhra pradesh state. Srisailam is not just a temple but a kshetram as well as a Mukthi Sthalam. Generally, in a temple, either the God or Goddess will be powerful, but at Srisailam both are powerful, Lord Mallikarjuna is one among 12 Jyothirlingas and for Goddess Bhramaramba, she is one among 18 Ashta dasha Sakthi Peethas. The temple is quite ancient.Adi Shankara had composed the famous Sivananda Lahari and Soundarya Lahari, 100 verses each in praise of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati after getting a divine vision of them. Srisaila kshetra quoted as second jyothirlinga kshetra in Dwadasha jyothrlinga kshetra. This kshetra is indirectly connected to Lord Dattatreya. Shri Nrusimha saraswathy swamy(second incarnation of Lord Dattatreya) explained the importance of this kshetra to his disciple Tantuka and also closed his avathara in the Krishna river of this kshetra. Even today many devotees of Lord Dattatreya are visiting this kshetra to have darshan of Kadalivan and Lord Maheshwara.
Sauraashtre somanaadhamca Sreesaile mallikaarjunam |
ujjayinyaam mahaakaalam omkaaretvamaamalesvaram …………….
The Mallikarjuna Linga is accessible to each and every devotee and anybody can go into the sanctum sanctorum of Mallikarjuna, touch him and perform Abhishekam and Archana himself to recitation of Mantras by Archakas without caste or creed or religion.
Kshetra connected to Lord Dattatreya:
In Sree Guru Charitra the importance of Srisaila kshetra was mentioned in chapter no 43. Tantuk, a weaver, was one of Shri Guru’s devotees. He served Shri Guru devotedly. Maha Shivaratri was approaching. His parents and other relations started for Shri Shailya, and asked Tantuk to come with them. Tantuk said, ‘My Shri Shailya is here’ and he lived alone at home. Shri Guru asked him ‘Why did you not go for yatra?’ He replied, ‘My yatra is at your feet.’ On the Maha Shivaratri day Shri Guru said ‘All your relatives went for yatra. You only remained behind. Do you want to see Shri Shailya? Follow me, I shall show you. Shut your eyes and hold my Sandals firmly.’ `Saying so, he took him to Shri Shailya within a moment. Shri Guru asked him to open his eyes. Tantuk saw Shri Guru before him. Shri Guru told Tantuk to do Kshour, bathe and see the Malleshwar. He went to the river where he met his parents and relatives. They asked him `why did you not come with us but came stealthily,’ He asked, `I came just now with Shri Guru.’ Some people did not believe in his words. Doing Kshour (mundane) and taking `bel’ and flowers he went to the temple. While worshipping, he saw Shri Guru sitting on the Linga. He offered Pooja with devotion and came back to Shri Guru who asked him, `Will you stay or come with me?’
Tantuk said, `I saw a wonder today. While worshipping Shri Shankar, I saw you in the place. When you are there why people come so far? Kindly explain this to me.’ Shri Guru said, `God is all over. But significance of the place is there. The greatness of this place is narrated in the Skandha Purana. Formerly Vimarshan was a king of the Kirat desh. He had won all the kings. He was adulterer, and ate was pious and devoted. Queen once asked the king, `You are adulterer and eat meat. Yet how are you devoted to God?’
The king said, `I shall tell you an account of my previous birth. I was a dog in Pampa city. On the Shivaratri day all were worshipping Shri Shiva in the temple. I went there hoping to get something to eat. The people began to drive me out of the temple and beat me with sticks and stones. I ran round the temple and entered into a drain. I saw the worship of Shiva that was being performed there but due to the thrashing given to me by the people; I died in front of the temple. Due to that meritorious deed, I became a king in this life, but the nature of dog of eating anything has not left me.’
The queen asked, `You narrated your previous life. Please tell me of my previous life.’ The king said, `You were a Kapoti (Bird). You were flying with a piece of flesh in your mouth. A kite saw this and it attacked you, You ran in the forest at Giri and began to take rounds at the Shiva temple. The kite followed you all along. Ultimately you got tired, you sat at the top of the temple and the kite attacked you and took away the flesh that you had. You too died instantly. Due to the merit of the rounds of the Shiva temple, you became my queen in this life.’
The queen further asks, ‘What will be our future life? The king said, ‘I shall be king of the Sindhu desh and you will be born in the Srinjaya desh and you shall again be my queen. Later I shall be the king of Sourashtra and you shall be born in Kdaling and shall be my queen. In the fourth birth I shall be the king of Gandhar and you will be born in Magadh and shall be my queen. In the fifth, I shall be the king of Awanti and you will be born in Dasharha and shall be my wife. Next I shall be the king of Anart and you being a daughter of Yayati, you will marry me. Seventh time I shall be the king of Pandya and ‘Padvarma’ will be my name. You being the Vidarbha princess ‘Vasumati’ shall marry me in a Swayamvara. After performing many sacrifices, I shall accept Sanyas and study Brahmavidya at Agasti Muni’s Ashram and in the end I shall go to the heaven with you. Such is the of the worship of Shri Shaila kshetra.
Shri Guru’s Journey unto Bliss:
Shri Guru Nrusimha saraswathy swamy (second incarnation of Lord Dattatreya) closed his avathara in the Krishna river of Srisaila kshetra. He called all the disciples and said; “Now I wish live secretly. Therefore I intend to go to Shri Shaila. Still I shall be staying at Ganagapur. Shri Guru went to Patal Ganga, flowing at the base of Shri Shaila, He asked his disciples to prepare a flower-seat and said, “I have to go to Mallikarjuna on Shri Shaila on the other side of the river.” The disciples prepared a nice seat of flowers of Shevanti, lotus, malati, kanher etc. on the leaf of kardali and placed it on the riverside.
Shri Guru said, “Now you should return to your respective places”. All were greatly aggrieved. Shri Guru sat on the flower seat on Magh Vad 1st, on Friday when Guru (Jupiter) was in Kanya (vergs) Rasa at evening time and before going away said, ” I am going to the place of self-bliss. I shall send flowers as gift, which you should distribute amongst yourselves and worship them, daily. I like singing. I shall be near those, who sing prayers. They will get all the pleasures”.
Saying this Shri Guru disappeared in the river. After some time some boatmen came from the other side of the river. They told, “We saw Shri Guru on the other side. He was looking like a sanyasi and was holding a dand (stick) in his hand. He had golden sandals. He told his name as ‘Narasimha Saraswati. He has given a message for you, ‘I am going to the Kardali-Van for anthardhana.
Important places to visit in Srisaila kshetra:
In addition to Lord Shiva temple, Bhramarambika devi temple, one has to visit Sakshi Ganapathi, Paala Dhara-Pancha dhara, Vriddha Mallikarjuna temple, Triphala vriksha, Addala mantapa, Swamy Kalyana mantapa, Paathala ganga, Hatakeshwara, Shivaji spoorthi Kendra, Srisailam Dam, Akka mahadevi temple, Kadalivan and Ishta kameshwari temple. Visiting Akkamahadevi caves, Kadalivan and Ishta kameshwari temple. There are some Kundams(Small wells) in the campus. The water of Manohara kundam is used for Shivabhisheka. The sanctum of the temple, a shell-like structure, enshrines Lord Mallikarjuna.
Triphala Tree/ Sthala Vriksham:
There is a Triphala vriksha in the campus, under which the great Rishi Agastya resides in hidden form. Previously Guru Dattatreya appeared under this tree. Triphala Tree which is the Stala Vriksha. This is the main tree of this temple. It is not a single tree, there are three trees all wound around each other to form one tree, hence it is called Triphala. This is the co-existence of three sacred trees belonging to Ficus species. They are Ashwatha (Raavi), Oudumbara(Medi) and Plaksha (Juvvi). Lord Dattatreya has performed penance under this tree. Shree Gurucharitra parayana or recitation of the stotras under this tree will give favourable results and fulfill their wishes early. Even today, many devotees of Lord Dattatreya are performing Shri Gurucharitra parayana as “EKAAHA” (completion of the book in one day from morning to evening) under this tree to fulfill their wishes.
Significance of Srisalam Mallikarjunaswamy
- Srisailam Mallikarjunaswamy Temple is one of 12 Jyothirlinagas
- The Goddess Bhramarambika Devi, one of the 18 Saktipeetah’s resides here
- The Matsya – Puranas described it as a seat of the mother Goddess Madhavi.
- The Agni-puruna states that Srisaila is Siddhakshetra where the god Shiva and Parvathi always reside.
- Adishankaracharya refers Srisaila among the 12 jyotirilinga places in his jyotirilinga stotra. Two verses in his Sivanandalahari praise the Mahalinga of Mallikarjuna of Srigiri. The goddess of eight verses on the Goddess Bhramaramba is also attributed to him. Above all, Shankaracharya resided at Srisaila for some time, when his disciple Padmapadacharya had an encounter with the Kapalikas.
- The Kathasaritsagara narrates a story about a Kasmirian performing penance at Srisaila, seeking boons from the God Siva.
- Vasubandhu in his Vasavadatta described Sriparvata as the abode of Mallikarjuna.
- Srisaila is stated in the Mahabharata as one of the holy places.
- The Skanda-Purana contains a separate section called Srisaila Khanda.
- The Vayu – purana prescribes the performance of Sraddha ceremony to the manes at Srisaila.
- Bhavabhuti in his Malatimadhva alludesto a Siddha of Srisaila named Aghoraghanta, obviously a Kapalika Saiva, who is stated to have captured the heroine Malati.
- Harshavardhana of Kanouj (A.D. 604-640) alludes in his Ratnavali to a Siddha named Srikanthadasa of Sriparvata who is said to have taught udayana, the hero of the play, the art of jalandharavidya.
- Sambandhar, appar and sundharar have sung one padhikam (3) each on the Lord of Srisailam.
Important festivals in Srisaila kshetra:
In addition to regular Rudrabhishekas, Chandi homa, Rudra homa, Shiva kalyana pujas etc., special pujas will be performed in the month of Kaartheeka Masa, on the day of Mahashivarathri and Dussehra(Vijaya dashami) navarathri days.
Many devotees are visiting this kshetra even today from Karnataka sate on their foot like padayatra from their respective places so as to reach on the day of Mahashivarathri. Shiva deeksha is also popular especially in South India and deeksha dharana swamis are coming to this place for deeksha viramana.
Many private lodges and Dharmasalas/choultrys organizing by Devasthana are available for accommodation. AP Tourism Department is also arranging rooms for stay purpose. Some Peethas and Mathas are also opened their branches in this kshetra for accommodation to the devotees. Nityaannadana is also arranged by the temple and also by many choultries.
Shaswatha donations for rooms: (Donations received for life time membership for accommodation)
How to reach:
By Road: Approximately 200 km from Hyderabad.
By Rail: Nearest railway stations to Srilailam
- Markapur Road(90 km)
- Vinukonda (120 km)
- Kurnool (190 km)
There are direct buses are available from Vijayawada, Hyderabad, Shringeri, Bangalore, Tirupathi to this kshetra. Nearest railway station is Markapur road which is 90 kms to this kshetra. Devotees from Chennai/Newdelhi/Pune/Mumbai can reach Ongole railway station which is 5 hours journey to this place. Direct buses are there from Ongole. Nearest Airport is Gannavaram/Vijayawada or Hyderabad.
Contact details: Executive Officer, Srisaila Devasthanam, Srisailam 518101, Andhra Pradesh
Phone: 08524 – 288883,288885,288886,288887,288888.
“Sri Saila Sikharam Drushtwa Punarjanma Na Vidyate”
ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः सर्वे सन्तु निरामयाः| सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु मा कश्चिद् दुःखभाग् भवेत् ||
Om sarve bhavantu sukhinah sarve santu niramayah
sarve bhadrani pashyantu ma kaschid duhkha bhag bhavet
ஓம் ஸர்வே பவந்து ஸுகின: ஸர்வே ஸந்து நிராமயா:
ஸர்வே பத்ராணி பச்யந்து மா கஸ்சித் துக்கபாக் பவேத்
Meaning: May all be happy. May all be free from disease. May all see/realize the auspicious/good. May none be subject to suffering.
:: AVADHOOTHA CHINTHANA SHREE GURU DEVA DATTA ::